Horned Grebe at Grant Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on March 21, 2017

One of my last stops birding along the lakefront in Milwaukee today I spotted at Horned Grebe. This adult bird in non-breeding plumage did more resting than diving for food early afternoon while I was there. The rest of the lakefront was pretty quiet. Lakeshore State Park had about 100 winter ducks still hanging around. Images were taken on March 21, 2017.

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Horned Grebe

Binomial name: Podiceps auritus

Category: Grebes

Size: 14” long, 18” wing span

Weight: 1 lb.

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Preening…

Resting but always watching...

Resting but always watching…

On the move...

On the move…

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Pied-billed Grebe Lakeshore State Park Milwaukee Wisconsin October 23, 2014

I birded the lakefront  in Milwaukee last Thursday morning and it was pretty slow. The Glaucous Gull was still at Bradford Beach but that was the big event there. I think the Glaucous Gull has been present in the area since October 8, 2014. Lakeshore State Park was also slow except for a Pied-billed and Horned Grebe in their nonbreeding plumages. Later in the day I received the message on the Rufous Hummingbird in Waukesha County, the reason I am posting these images a little late. Images were taken on October 23, 2014.

Pied-billed Grebe nonbreeding plumage

Pied-billed Grebe nonbreeding plumage

Pied-billed Grebe

Binomial name: Podilymbus podiceps

Category: Grebes

Size: 13” long, 16” wing span

Weight: 1 lb.

Habitat:  Breeds across North America in ponds and lakes that are seasonal or permanent. On those waters it prefers thick stands of emergent vegetation, sloughs and bays. If waters are frozen the will go to salt water.

Diet: Diving for fish, occasional plant material, crustaceans (mainly crayfish), and aquatic insects. Their feathers are also part of their diet along with giving them to their young. Feathers help in digestion to prevent damage by bones.

Nesting:  The nest is open bowl shaped made of vegetation, typically floats and is anchored by emergent vegetation. The female lays 3-10 light blue eggs, sometimes twice a year that both parents help incubate. The young are feed by both parents and are typically carried around on the adult backs.

Cool Facts: Small bird, stocky, short necked that dives up to 30 seconds at a time. They are known to dive for food with young on their back. Adults have a black ring around their chicken like bill during breeding season. A shy, not sociable bird that is sensitive to disturbances, are rarely found in flocks.

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Pied-billed Grebe nonbreeding plumage

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Pied-billed Grebe nonbreeding plumage

Pied-billed Grebe nonbreeding plumage

Pied-billed Grebe nonbreeding plumage

Pied-billed Grebe nonbreeding plumage

Pied-billed Grebe nonbreeding plumage

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Pied-billed Grebe nonbreeding plumage

Pied-billed Grebe nonbreeding plumage

Pied-billed Grebe nonbreeding plumage

Horned Grebe nonbreeding plumage

Horned Grebe nonbreeding plumage

Horned Grebe

Binomial name: Podiceps auritus

Category: Grebes

Size: 14” long, 18” wing span

Weight: 1 lb.

Habitat:  Breeds on small to medium sized, vegetated areas of shallow freshwater ponds and marshes. The breeding range is from northern central US north to northern regions of Canada and Alaska.

Diet: In summer mostly feed on aquatic insects which they get off the top of the water. They also eat crustaceans which they get diving under water. In winter their diet includes fish, crustacean and small aquatic animals.

Nesting:  The nest is a pile of wet plant material that is floating or sometimes on a rock. It is an open bowl and located near the water’s edge as this since the grebe legs are back far and they cannot walk well. The female lays 3-7 eggs white to light brown or light blue-green. The young are feed by both parents and can swim and dive usually the next day after hatching. The young often ride on the back of the parents back like loons do.

Cool Facts: This grebe eats some of its own feathers and they sit in their stomach and act as a filter and hold fish bones and other things till they are digested. One of the smaller grebes that is an excellent diver and swimmer that can stay under water for very long periods of time.

Horned Grebe nonbreeding plumage

Horned Grebe nonbreeding plumage

Horned Grebe nonbreeding plumage

Horned Grebe nonbreeding plumage

Horned Grebe nonbreeding plumage

Horned Grebe nonbreeding plumage

Horned Grebe nonbreeding plumage

Horned Grebe nonbreeding plumage

Horned Grebe nonbreeding plumage

Horned Grebe nonbreeding plumage

Horned Grebe nonbreeding plumage

Horned Grebe nonbreeding plumage

Horned Grebe nonbreeding plumage

Horned Grebe nonbreeding plumage

Horned Grebe nonbreeding plumage going for the dive!

Horned Grebe nonbreeding plumage going for the dive!

Horned Grebe Lakeshore State Park Milwaukee Wisconsin October 7, 2014

I birded the lakefront in Milwaukee this morning for a couple hours and it was pretty quiet. The highlight of the morning was a Horned Grebe at Lakeshore State Park. The two Pied-billed Grebes that were present for the last two days were still hanging around at the park. Other species present, a couple of Double-crested Cormorants, lots of Palm Warblers and about 40 American Coots. Two large boats flushed this grebe from where we were at and I could not relocate the bird after that. Other than the wind gusts, it was a beautiful morning to be out birding. Images were taken on October 7, 2014.

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Horned Grebe

Binomial name: Podiceps auritus

Category: Grebes

Size: 14” long, 18” wing span

Weight: 1 lb.

Habitat:  Breeds on small to medium sized, vegetated areas of shallow freshwater ponds and marshes. The breeding range is from northern central US north to northern regions of Canada and Alaska.

Diet: In summer mostly feed on aquatic insects which they get off the top of the water. They also eat crustaceans which they get diving under water. In winter their diet includes fish, crustacean and small aquatic animals.

Nesting:  The nest is a pile of wet plant material that is floating or sometimes on a rock. It is an open bowl and located near the water’s edge as this since the grebe legs are back far and they cannot walk well. The female lays 3-7 eggs white to light brown or light blue-green. The young are feed by both parents and can swim and dive usually the next day after hatching. The young often ride on the back of the parents back like loons do.

Cool Facts: This grebe eats some of its own feathers and they sit in their stomach and act as a filter and hold fish bones and other things till they are digested. One of the smaller grebes that is an excellent diver and swimmer that can stay under water for very long periods of time.

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Preening

Preening

Preening

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The dive!

The dive!

The dive!

The dive!

Preening

Preening

Preening

Preening

Preening

Preening

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To view images of the Horned Grebe from spring of 2014 going into breeding plumage, please click here.

Horned Grebe

The Fox River in downtown Waukesha Wisconsin has been pretty exciting with duck species the last couple of weeks and now Grebe species are showing up too. A striking Horned Grebe did some diving for food and gave some nice views this morning. A couple of Pied-billed Grebes gave distant views while I was there too. Duck species present today were Common Goldeneye (m-f), Red-breasted Mergansers (f), Scaups, Ring-necked (m-f) Bufflehead and American Coots. A sunny day, but the wind made for a cold one. Photographs taken on March 29, 2014._rIMG_4020_cr

Horned Grebe

Binomial name: Podiceps auritus

Category: Grebes

Size: 14” long, 18” wing span

Weight: 1 lb.

Habitat:  Breeds on small to medium sized, vegetated areas of shallow freshwater ponds and marshes. The breeding range is from northern central US north to northern regions of Canada and Alaska.

Diet: In summer mostly feed on aquatic insects which they get off the top of the water. They also eat crustaceans which they get diving under water. In winter their diet includes fish, crustacean and small aquatic animals.

Nesting:  The nest is a pile of wet plant material that is floating or sometimes on a rock. It is an open bowl and located near the water’s edge as this since the grebe legs are back far and they cannot walk well. The female lays 3-7 eggs white to light brown or light blue-green. The young are feed by both parents and can swim and dive usually the next day after hatching. The young often ride on the back of the parents back like loons do.

Cool Facts: This grebe eats some of its own feathers and they sit in their stomach and act as a filter and hold fish bones and other things till they are digested. One of the smaller grebes that is an excellent diver and swimmer that can stay under water for very long periods of time.

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Preening

Preening

Shaking off!

Shaking off!

Shaking off!

Shaking off!

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Back view

Back view

 

Horned Grebe Fox River Waukesha March 29, 2014

Horned Grebe Fox River Waukesha March 29, 2014

Horned Grebe Milwaukee Art Museum April 28, 2013

Horned Grebe – breeding plumage – Milwaukee Art Museum April 28, 2013

Horned Grebe Milwaukee Art Museum April 28, 2013

Horned Grebe – breeding plumage – Milwaukee Art Museum April 28, 2013

Eared Grebe Milwaukee Art Museum April 28, 2013 – Note: Eared Grebe does not have white tip on end of bill. Its bill also curves upward where the Horned is straight. The Eared Grebe has a yellow brush look material behind eye where the Horned Grebe has yellowish feathers.

Eared Grebe Milwaukee Art Museum April 28, 2013 – Note: Eared Grebe does not have white tip on end of bill. Its bill also curves upward where the Horned is more straight. The Eared Grebe has a yellow brush look material behind eye where the Horned Grebe has yellowish feathers.

Eared Grebe Milwaukee Art Museum April 28, 2013 – Note: Eared Grebe does not have white tip on end of bill. Its bill also curves upward where the Horned is straight. The Eared Grebe has a yellow brush look material behind eye where the Horned Grebe has yellowish feathers.

Eared Grebe Milwaukee Art Museum April 28, 2013 – Note: Eared Grebe does not have white tip on end of bill. Its bill also curves upward where the Horned is more straight. The Eared Grebe has a yellow brush look material behind eye where the Horned Grebe has yellowish feathers.